New and luxurious sailboats, full of migrants, the new strategy to reach Italy
Traffickers steal the sailboats and are used to smuggle refugees at $ 10,000 per person. Then these sailboats are abandoned.
They cross the Mediterranean in luxurious sailboats that reach the beach in the Calabria region of southern Italy.
It is the least known migration route to Europe, but the one most used by Afghans, Iraqis, Iranians and wealthy Kurds.
Entire families pay dearly for the passages from Turkey on almost new sailboats that can easily avoid being detected, captained by smugglers
Migrants spend up to a week crammed with insufficient food supplies.
The Calabrian route, which carries migrants from Turkey to the ‘tip’ of Italy’s boot rather than to Sicily and its southernmost islands, quadrupled its traffic in 2021
In 2021, 59,000 people have arrived in Italy, and 32,000 from last year. The Calabrian route registered 9,687 people compared to 2,507 last year.
They look Afghans, Iraqis, Kurds, most of them are single men.
They pay 8,500 euros per adult and 4,000 euros for children to get to Calabria.
As the ship approaches the shore, the passengers go up on deck and the smugglers who piloted the ship flee in boats.
Sailboats are difficult to intercept because they look like normal pleasure boats.
Smugglers can earn around € 500,000 per trip on a sailboat costing around € 100,000, which they then abandon.
So many sailboats have already arrived that their remains are piled up on the Calabrian coast.